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When You're Ready To Buy

by Jason Caryl-TAF 1998

PART I: Self Examination

When you make the decision to add a feathered friend to your family circle, there are a couple of things that you should consider.


- What is your current housing situation?

- Do you plan to be moving around?

- Do you already have children in your home? How old are they? How will they feel about this addition to the family and the time they will have to share with mom and dad? Are they old enough to understand the needs of a bird, and how to be gentle with them.

- Do you have enough space to allow your feathered friend time alone, away from noise and possible stress?

- Space for yourself, away from the stress and noise of your feathered friend?

- When the newness wears off, and life returns to it's normal pace, you will both need your own space from time to time.


- Does your current schedule leave time for another child?

Caring for a feathered friend is like adding a young child to your home. In addition to fresh food and water, a pet bird requires a daily dose of love and attention.


- One thing that many do not realize is that a pet parrot, when cared for properly, will often out-live it's owners, and emotionally they will be about the same as an 8 to 12 year old. They never grow up and move out!!

- Are you prepared for tantroms, screaming,& interuptions while talking on the phone or entertaining guests?

- Are you ready to implement discipline as needed? If you are answering yes now, what about 2 years from now? 5 years? 20 Years?

- Do you have time to spend, have you already spent time reading and learning all you can about the bird you are interested in?

When in Doubt

- Sometimes the only way to make sure you find the right pal to add to your home, is to ask someone who already cares for or breeds birds. Don't feel bad about asking "ignorant" questions, or asking the "wrong" questions..... There is no such thing! Education and discovery through research and questioning is as important here as when you purchased the new car you always dreamed of. This decision will either bring you years of joy and companionship, or you could find yourself regreting the whole thing.

PART II: The Purchase

Once you've weighed the pros and cons and decided upon the proper size and type of bird, you're ready to buy. So what to look for in a good pet will naturally be the focus of this section.

- Locate several (at least 2 or 3), suppliers that deal in the type of bird you are seeking. Make sure that the supplier is reputable and takes proper care of their birds. (Ask for refrences)

- Carefully observe the bird's intermediate habitat. It should be clean and have enough room to prevent overcrowding.

- Look closely at the eyes and nostrils checking to see that the area around them is clean, and that they are free of any discharge, redness and or swelling.

- The chest should be round and full. If it looks sunken or the breastbone sticks out, this is an indication that the bird is sick and may not be eating. There should be no signs of baldness or feather-plucking, but a broken tail feather or clipped wings should not play a role in your decision to purchase. The bird should be breathing evenly with no sign of congestion.

- If possible, hold the bird on your finger, noticing it's ability to grip firmly. Beware of a bird missing more than one toe or nail. Scaly feet can be a sign of old age.

- Note the bird's droppings. The waste material should be firm with green droppings and white urine. Make sure it is not watery, red, black or soupy green.

- Closely watch the bird's behaviour. A bird which remains relatively calm around strangers will most likely make the best pet, and will be easier to train.

- Following these helpful tips when you are ready to bring a new pet into your household will help to ensure that pet you bring home will be a healthy, happy bird which will provide much more pleasure and much better companionship for many years to come.

NOTICE: The purpose of this article is to provide a basic knowledge of pet bird ownership and general health info. The information provided in this article should not be taken for sound medical advise, nor should it be used to discount or replace cross-refrencing of other current research and or information which may now be available.

References used:

- Taming and Training Lovebirds by Risa Teitler, tfh pub.

- Taming and Training Cockatiels by Risa Teitler, tfh pub.

- Conures, by Tony Silva and Barbara Kotlar , tfh pub.

Next Month......

Part III: " New Surroundings"

Part IV: "Discipline/ Bad Habits"

For More information on this and or other subjects regarding avian care, please visit

"Bird Talk w/ Dr. Dave"

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